Russian roulette and rhetoric (Re-posted)

SOMETIMES

Every week we watch the TV show Blacklist, which is noted for its elaborate plots of spies, agents, good guys and extremely unlikely  situations.     Now there is a spin-off show, starring one of the lead characters in the original show.

Last night’s episode dealt with The Russians— new spies and situations, and one of the most frightening and far-fetched (maybe…) “plots” that were featured in the old days when the Cold War was at its height.    We all knew from a very early age that The Russians were absolutely out to get us…to somehow come to the United States and take over everything.     One of the most nefarious scenarios was—Sleeper Cells.

These were groups of individual Russian spies that were trained to impersonate Americans, and underwent elaborate training programs to guarantee absolute authenticity.  They drove American cars, sang American songs, ate American food…even birthday cakes!     They lived in mock villages…

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The Art of Flirting, a Wordle from MLMM

It’s been awhile since I published one of my Wordle attempts.   MindLoveMiseryMenagerie regularly presents these Word-puzzles, in which a list of words is provided, to be crafted into a poem or other form of writing.     This Wordle is    #157.  (*see word list below.)

The Art of Flirting

We have reached a stalemate…you and I
in our playhouse of make-believe,
avoiding muse-thieves in cahoots vis-à-vis
in competition for cleverness … a turn of a phrase.

I bite my tongue in affected semaphorism
… a flicker of eyelashes with a knowing smile,
a hint of a shared secret, imaginary  interlude
“remember the willows…?” a tentative glance…

To know or not to know becomes the quest
we wonder: are we on the same page?
Do we deserve to solve the paradox
of saying nothing…while expressing it all?

©Sometimes, 2017

*Word list: bite, smooth, open, deserve, paradox, semaphorism, stalemate, tension, playhouse, Neptune, thieves.   (I was unable to work in two of the words: Neptune and tension, but did manage to incorporate the prerequisite ten words—including Semaphorism — a conversational hint of something personal to say; a half-told anecdote; one of those comments we slip into an otherwise unconnected conversation, such as an aside which has no apparent meaning other than between two specific people; a private joke.

 

 

 

desert echoes

            Echoes

hark! hear the rumble
across the desert;
my soul remembers

the great movement of stones
and great boulders
and simmering sand

mighty Saguaros loom
above tiny desert creatures,
gifting water and sun shade

a death rattle threatens
beware!  … fangs at the ready
— find another way

my soul remembers
from layers deep within
the baking sun at mid-day.

foot-prints soon cover
with impressionable sand…
but the desert remembers me

©Sometimes, 2017

 

The pen

Here’s a poem by friend Charlypriest, who writes poetry with passion and purpose… like all good poets, sometimes meaning is obscure, but that’s what makes it good. Thanks for the reblog…Charly.

CRAZY LIFE

I exchanged the rifle for a pen
I see a new life then
It also provides new life to imaginable people
It’s a parallel universe
Which I can turn around and reverse
The pen is what makes me put the Turkmen
In the Big Ben

Stay Frosty gents and gentesses

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a dream of dreams

This is a poem I wrote nearly a year ago, inspired by a charming and fascinating site called Osseous Design: The Blog .      I happened upon the site one day when surfing, and wrote the date 1-24-17, and name of the Blog at the top of my notebook page.   Tracing back, I was able to find the unique  site, with its creative and innovative “faces” and an original painting and poem with a dream theme.    https://osseousdesign.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/identities/

I was moved to write a poem of my own in my notebook.   Here it is:

dream of dreams

a dream is never “just a dream”
but a manifestation of reveries
ever real, everlasting, ever true
figments of memories—

a dream is never “just a dream”
for much of life’s experience exists
within a world of somedays and might-have-beens
through which hopes and wishes bravely persist

those who discount or ignore life’s dreams
lose and squander the joy of make-believe…
forfeits the pretense and right to achieve
truth never known remains to perceive.

©Sometimes, 2017

blessing for voters, a Wordle

Bless the blue and the red
those who tirelessly stump for votes
among the hopeful and hopeless
grabbing at sticks and straws
as they burn bridges behind them
and always conceal how they ran the race
the votes they cast—win or lose—
behind the locked curtain.

©Sometimes, 2017

Wordle #273, November 11, 2016 … by MindLoveMisery

the words:   blue, burn, lose, race, red, lock, grab, bless, stump, vote, conceal, stick.

marching band music…sing loudly, don’t worry too much about lyrics

marching music please…. just try ignoring the band blaring out the Sousa beat, adoring crowds lining the streets… drummers drumming, flutes tweeting, symbols clashing… but I digress.       Back in the day I was a Girl Scout leader, and part of my duty as such was to lead the girls down the main street during the Memorial Day Parade (or other parade.)     In high heels no less….no, not stilettos…which were not worn by ordinary women for another thirty or forty years.

The Stars and Stripes Forever   must be sung very loudly… and if by chance ya don’t know the words (wink wink who does?)  just join the singers who use the alternate version….

“Be kind to your web footed friends,
for a duck may be somebody’s mother…”

John Philip Sousa – The Stars And Stripes Forever lyrics
Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.
These Lyrics are informational only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content. User assumes all risks of use.   Lyrics assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage resulting from such use. All lyrics are property and copyright of their owners, and provided for educational purposes only.
http://www.elyrics.net

Then there is the Battle Hymn of the Republic:     Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord… he has stampled out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored… deal with the bullets with his terrible swift sword…  the TRUTH goes marching on!!!  oops…

uh….  folks, I really am embarrassed that I don’t know all the words….when singing the Battle Hymn one is excused if they just mumble over the tricky lyrics.    always there is “boompa dee,” “dee dum,”

I’m not good with remembering lyrics…

Now I will never get that out of my head… “Be kind to your web-footed friends…”

Wisteria in silence and sound

A scent of Wisteria
if real or fake
borne by warm breezes
over rippling tidewaters.

A ship’s sharp whistle
from deep in the gut,
as sweet music echoes
through silent halls

… a faceless, mute bibliotaph,
who treasures… within his soul…
sounds he cannot experience
except in his penetralia.

© Sometimes, 2017

 

This WORDLE #129, has languished in my notebook for months.    I do love these exercises offered frequently by MINDLOVEMISERY, and enjoy the challenge of making a poem or other form of writing, using at least ten specific words from a list of 12.  This Wordle words are: Wisteria, faceless, penetralia*, sharp, tidewater, fake, breeze, occur, mute, bibliotaph*, step, and guts.

penetralia: held in interior, core, deep, innards, etc… as in deep sometimes private thoughts or memories

bibliotaph: someone who hoards books, a book collector

not your granny’s Columbus Day…

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/columbus_day

This article is excellent on the subject of Christopher Columbus and the “discovery of America.” It is well worth the read, and deserves an A+ for research and attribution, factual information based partially on bona fide original sources including Columbus’s own writing.

Bartolomé de Las Casas,  Dominican Friar and later Bishop, is the author of The Destruction of the Indies, which details the systematic horror brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus.      De Las Casas is known as the Protector of the Indians, and was the Bishop of Chiapas, Mexico in the early sixteenth century.

My interest in this topic is the subject of the unpublished doctoral dissertation, which I spent ten years writing.   Unfortunately I did not complete the final draft, so it was never published.   However, before I die I hope to publish at least some of my work on my blog, at least.

Sunday Sonnet!

Poet friend Bushka graciously included the Re-Blog button, and I appreciate the opportunity to repost this lovely poem. Thanks.

Autumn Ambles

IMG_4877(WP)

🦋

Alone she sat disconsolately bowed,
Her customary calm demeanour strained;
Allegiance to Sophia disavowed,
Her credibility now sadly stained;
Distorted images of Truth abound,
Supplanted by intrigue of cunning Lies;
No greater fear can villainy compound
Than other human beings demonise;
Democracy, deflowered by Deceit,
Forever bears the scars of deep distrust,
Yet, Faith must not surrender in defeat,
For Hope shall be restored to all the Just;
Fraternity her mettle needs avail,
Equality shall in the end prevail!

©Meanderings 2016

🦋

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Top General Says Puerto Rico Is The Worst Disaster That He Has Seen/ FEMA’s Fubar

This is a do-not-miss post from Gronda Morin, who works tirelessly to round up and decifer the news! Thanks for the reblog…

Gronda Morin

The republican President Donald Trump and his apologists need to fess up to reality. The US government has failed in its obligations to adequately assist our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico which was decimated by Hurricane Maria which had landed around September 20, 2017.

A week later, the president looked like he was finally taking Puerto Rico’s humanitarian crisis seriously by sending the US military to assist and by waiving the Jones Act which allows foreign ships to deliver aid as well as US vessels.

Image result for photos of puerto rico after hurricane maria

Upon doing some research, I learned from an AP report that only about 5000 military soldiers were being sent when about 50,000 are needed according to a military expert, Phillip Carter, A Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. Then I found out that the president was waiving the Jones Act for only…

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Caribbean geography lesson…

Every now and then I like to get out a map and reassure myself that when not knowing the location of Yemen, or Utah, or Antiqua (for example) all I have to do is look it up on a map. A paper map, preferably, but sometimes even an online map will do.

So I wanted to see if Puerto Rico was really far out in the middle of the ocean someplace, or, as I suspected…in the Caribbean. So I did a search “Puerto Rico” and Bing zeroed in on a nice map of the island, in great detail of cities and even roads and topographical details like mountains. Zooming out to get the big picture…including the Pacific Ocean and all of Russia…the exact location of Puerto Rico became instantly remembered.

Looking Southward, from Florida, the island is sort of beyond Cuba, north of Venezuela, and in a line with other islands and chains of islands in the Caribbean, forming a line of defense reinforced by territories possessed by friendly allies: the French, Dutch, and British. This was perfect—especially back in the days of the conquest by Spain of the New World.

Actually the United States was interested in keeping the Spanish at bay as much as possible, while maintaining a strategic position of buffering between the British (our best friends forever) and “other” European or South American nations from getting any ideas. Or Japan…or anyone else.

The last good-size war the U.S. had with Spain was the Spanish-American War, which effectively booted the Spanish out of the area and declared US hegemony in the close-in islands, including Puerto Rico. It is true that the U.S. had a good line of defense in the Caribbean, and although U.S.-Cuban relations suffered during the Cold War…to the point where until the Cubans would acquiesce in being beaten by the U.S. Embargo, which effectively put Cuba and the Castro Dictatorship in its place as an oppressed and bullied island which “refused to straighten out” and endured sixty years or so of hardship and political hassles because of it.

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1899, part of the spoils agreed on by the two nations was the prize of Puerto Rico…ceded to the U.S. by Spain. One of the results was that the Spanish-speaking citizens were required to speak and use English-only.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and thus Puerto Rican citizens are citizens of the United States, and are entitled to vote in U.S. elections…except for the office of President. They elect representatives to the U.S. Congress, who are on the same basis as reps and Senators from the 50 other states.

One difficult hang-over from the early 20th Century is THE JONES LAW, which forbids Puerto Rico to receive shipments of any materials or products from any sources except on officially sanctioned United States registered Ships. The result of this is that now that Hurricane Maria has devastated the Puerto Rican island, the Jones Law limits what foreign aid they can receive. The U.S. Congress has the power to rescind or modify the law…but has so far declined. It may be nteresting to note that the Jones Law has been suspended in other U.S. ports under emergencies created by Hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, as well as other U.S. controlled islands in the Caribbean.

The U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Comfort has, as of this Wednesday morning, been sent to Puerto Rico. The reasons for the delay apparently have been worked out, especially the excuse of the ship being “too big to park in the harbor…” and the hospital ship will anchor off-shore and apparently transfer patients from the mainland of the island by helicopter.

https://www.bing.com/maps?&ty=18&q=Puerto%20Rico&vdpid=202&mb=19.029888040912922~-69.22080993652341~17.464867724672842~-64.03526306152341&ppois=18.2491397857666_-66.6280364990234_Puerto%20Rico_~&cp=18.2491397857666~-66.6280364990234&v=2&sV=1&style=r&trfc=&lvl=7

After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Needs Major Assistance From USA And The World

Thanks to our good friend Gronda for posting this article on Puerto Rico. It makes one wonder why the citizens of Puerto Rico are having to beg for assistance…any more than if the disaster wiped out, say, Indiana. Great information here, including various sources of opportunities to contribute to aid efforts.

Gronda Morin

Carlos Giusti / AP

The following tells the story of Puerto Rico, a devastated island after Hurricane Maria’s landing where too many of our fellow Americans have been left in dire straights and who are in for a long road of months towards recovery. Below is a list of how to help our neighbors in Puerto Rico.

Some officials in Puerto Rico have been asking for a temporary waiver of the Jones Act which allows for shipment of goods only via US ships. New York Rep Nydia Velazquez has asked for for this on their behalf but the republican President Donald Trump and his administration have said no.

Perhaps “we the people” can help by contacting our US lawmakers by asking them to support NY Rep Nydia Velazquez in her request to waive the Jones Act.

The main US Senate phone line 202-225-3121 (202-224-3121) or  YOU CAN FIND PHONE…

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What’s the Point?

The latest in double-speak and hyperbole coming out of our White House involves the verbal censure — complete with cuss words — of some of our national Hero/Gladiators, the players of the National Football League.   By implication, other sports organizations may soon join in a general incident.

This brouhaha, is featured on the same Headline News sites as 1) the annihilation of North Korea and/or the rest of the World;  2) the devastation by multiple Hurricanes which are literally wiping out much of the Caribbean countryside; and 3) wreaking another type of havoc in the good old US-of-A in the form of political wreckage of our health care system, such as it is.

Is the point that the people involved are demonstrating disrespect for the U.S. Flag?   Or that the efforts and sacrifices of our military personnel in the wars that reinforce our system are being insulted and dishonored?

Should our great stadiums and ball courts be boycotted because of this perceived disrespect?

Do we want a system where the leaders can stand and demand certain responses from crowds gathered for games or other patriotic event… is it okay for anyone, as in the president of the country, to demand a specific response?     Should there be a law stating that the flag MUST be saluted?   That the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag MUST be said whenever the law requires?

These implications are that if patriotism is the law of the land…how soon will mandatory punishments follow?  When a pledge is required, at risk of breaking a law, with penalties…what happens then?

At risk here is the whole point of our system of government—freedom from tyranny and dictatorship.    In some nations of the world any big gathering, sports, political speeches, military show of strength….any one of these events show the threat that these kinds of rhetoric and neo-fascism promises to inflict on us down a very slippery slope.

It is tempting to think that this stirring-of-the-pot has an ulterior motive…more red-herrings dragged in front of our noses.